Google Enhances Chrome’s Safe Browsing With Real-Time Updates

Google updated its Safe Browsing feature. Now, Chrome users can receive real-time updates on dangerous websites. In the past, Safe Browsing updated its database of harmful sites every 30 to 60 minutes.

But since many harmful sites are only active for a short period, often less than 10 minutes, this was not effective enough. Now, Google’s servers will update the Safe Browsing list constantly, offering immediate protection against new threats. Google claims this method will reduce phishing site encounters by a margin.

Privacy has been a key focus in this update. Real-time Safe Browsing employs various privacy-preserving techniques to ensure Google does not learn the specifics of the sites users visit.

This feature has been released on Chrome’s desktop and iOS versions, with plans to extend it to Android users shortly. Google encourages users seeking even more safety to opt into Safe Browsing’s Enhanced Protection mode.


How Does This New Safe Browsing Function?


The refreshed approach involves checking websites directly against Google’s server-hosted list, making the detection of harmful sites quicker. When visiting a website, Chrome first checks if the site is on the local safe list.

If it’s not, the browser encrypts and sends a portion of the site’s address to Google’s privacy-preserving servers for real-time checking.

Google collaborated with Fastly to ensure these checks do not compromise user privacy. This means the full URL is never exposed, and Google does not see users’ IP addresses.

This system aims to maintain fast browsing speeds while providing enhanced security. Chrome uses a mix of caching strategies and fallback mechanisms to minimise any delay in page loading caused by these real-time checks.

This results in a seamless browsing experience for the user while maintaining high security standards.


What Are the Benefits for Users?


For everyday Chrome users, this upgrade translates to safer web navigation without extra effort on their part. This is especially necessary in an age where harmful sites appear and vanish quickly.

The upgrade also complements Chrome’s Password Checkup tool, which now alerts users about security issues with their passwords on iOS.


Google Messages Enhances Sharing Experience


In other news, Google Messages has revamped its camera UI to streamline photo and video sharing. The new interface, rolled out through a server-side update, introduces a simplified viewfinder with basic camera controls, including zoom presets and flash toggling.

This change aims to facilitate quicker image and video sending directly from chats. However, the updated UI has reduced customisation options compared to its predecessor, lacking settings such as timer and exposure adjustments.

Despite this, Google may enhance the UI with additional features in the future, maintaining its focus on user-friendly communication.


Google Strengthens Chrome Security On iOS


Google has also announced an update to Chrome on iOS, enhancing user security with an improved Password Checkup feature. This feature, necessary for identifying compromised passwords, now also warns users of weak or reused passwords, contributing to overall online safety.

This development is a testament to Google aiming to preserve data security across platforms, even for iPhone users. Google and Apple share a common goal of securing user data, demonstrating a collaborative effort in the cybersecurity domain.